Former major leaguer Michael Aubrey hit four homers and drove in seven runs in four at-bats for Triple-A Syracuse in an 11-0 win over Durham on Saturday.
It was a pretty stunning outburst for the 29-year-old Aubrey, who entered with no homers and just one double in 59 at-bats this season. He was hitting .203/.319/.288 through 21 games.
The Indians made Aubrey the 11th overall pick in the 2003 draft coming out of Tulane. Injuries limited during his early minor league career, and he never developed the kind of power hoped for him. He held his own in appearances with the majors with the Indians in 2008 and the Orioles in 2009, hitting .259/.310/.444 in 135 at-bats, but no team saw enough upside to give him a legitimate shot afterwards. The Nationals signed him to a minor league deal over the winter after he spent all of last season with Baltimore’s Triple-A club.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.